Sunday, 23 November 2014

Laser Defence Platform.. complete!

Whew! Okay, so, in two and a half hours, you too could turn your two sheets of MDF in to one of these!

Getting there is certainly more complicated than the carriage or the market stalls, but fortunately it is not as difficult as it might seem when you examine the MDF sheets and perform a parts count:

Curses! If only there were two fewer unique parts..

First of all I would suggest removing parts D (x4), E (x4), L (x12), N and O (x12). You will use all these parts to make the base of the laser defence platform. Each 'foot' is comprised of 3x L, 3x O, and one each of parts D and E:

Start by taking one of the angled pieces (L) with the two notches facing upwards and glue one of the horizontal pieces (O) in place. Glue on the other two angled pieces until you have this:

Add the remaining horizontal pieces, then slot part D into the short end of the foot. Follow that up with part E which you slot in and glue on top of it. Repeat the whole process three more times until you have four of these:

Now for the base! You will need parts H, K, M and Y (x2). Since we are going to be building a platform that will allow the turret to rotate, it's important to know which parts not to glue!

Glue the two Y pieces together to make this notched cross shape. Later on you will need to make two smaller versions in order to allow the turret to aim up and down.

Position the assembled cross underneath the base you have constructed so far and sit piece H on top of it. Hopefully you can see what we are going to do - lift up the cross piece and push it through the circular hole in the base.. enough that you can push - and glue - part M in to place.

So it's important to make sure that the cross is glued to the disc, but the large piece (H) that is sandwiched in between has no glue on it. Now cap off the disc with.. another disc which is glued in to place (K). All being well, you should still be able to rotate part H.

Now on to the main body of the turret itself. We will start by making the arms which support the upper section:

Start with two each of parts F, G and J. Make sure that as you assemble these parts that they are glued the right way around (see the next step) otherwise you will end up with two identical pieces which should actually be mirrored:

Moving up, we now need to assemble the sides of the turret itself. You will need 4x S, and two each of X and 1. Just like the cross we needed to make for the base of the platform, we now have to make two smaller crosses (as seen below):

Once you have two crosses, they need to be pushed through the 'inside' of parts 1 in preparation for the discs (X) being glued on the 'outside'. Make sure the notches in the discs are pointing upwards.

If, at this point, you have two piece that are exactly the same and 'pointing' the same way they you have definitely gone wrong. I totally did that the first time around..

Now glue the 'arms' on to the sides of the turret. You should find that the notches in the discs line up with the small protrusion on part F. With the sides complete, we can now move on to the main body of the turret, so let's start on the back piece:

For this we will need parts A (x3), B and V. I'm actually not 100% sure that we need part B for this but I couldn't figure out where else it would go. Glue part B onto part V and then glue the three bars (A) over the top so you end up with this:

With the back and sides complete, let's assemble the turret:

This part is pretty straightforward. Take parts C, W, Z and 2 (x2). Glue in the back piece that you have already assembled and the front part (W) and glue them onto the base (C), then attach the side pieces you built earlier.. and then the angled pieces (2) and the top (Z)

At this point you should be able to rotate the arms downwards and attach them to the platform base. The assembled platform should still be able to rotate around the Y axis (at the base) and around the X axis (at the top of the turret arms). Now it's time for the fiddly bit - making the two barrels. You will need parts P (x12), Q (x6) and R (x16). You might start assembling the lower section of the barrels like this.. but this is wrong. Luckily I figured it out before the glue dried!

You actually need to use ALL of the cog-shaped pieces while making the lower half of the barrels. You need three of the slightly large cogs (Q) positioned as per the picture above, with six of the smaller cogs (P) sandwiched inbetween.. all held in place by eight of the small arms (R).

Once both of these lower barrel pieces are complete, slot them onto the turret body and glue them in to place.

For the upper section of the barrels you will need parts T (x4) and U (x16). In principal this is a simple job but I found it quite hard to get everything to stay in place.. so I found it easier to only glue two of the long pieces in to place, on opposite sides of the octagonal parts (T)

..and then slot (and glue) that partially completed upper section onto the lower portion of the barrel. It might be a tight squeeze but this has the added benefit of ensuring that it is correctly centred on the lower part of the barrel. From here, you can continue glueing on the long pieces like so:

Simply repeat until all of the pieces have been used up and now all you need to do is glue on the last disc (I) onto the top of the turret and the laser defence platform is complete!

Although this took a bit more preparation work than my other purchases, especially with all the sanding that I needed to do in order to ensure that things looked nice and tidy, for 5.95 this item is worth the price just for the satisfaction of assembling it. Once it is complete, the laser defence platform looks pretty impressive and it's a sizable piece of terrain that will wok well with Infinity, 40k or any other sci-fi tabletop game. Sadly I am now out of things to build but hopefully I will pick up some more of the TTCombat range soon!

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